Posts Tagged With: Wicca

Magick is All Around Us

Magick is All Around Us

Author: Luna

Sometimes I get my inspirations from the simplest things. Sometimes it’s just a walk in the woods, and sometimes it’s the time of year or the holiday. Other times, it’s from interacting with a variety of people or animals, from playing with my dogs to working with native Chinese people. This time, inspiration came from somewhere I wasn’t expecting: one of the emails you guys have been sending me (thank you, thank you, thank you, by the way) .

A few weeks before writing this, I got an email from someone with a question I wasn’t quite expecting. The writer asked, “Do you think I can do magic with all this reality around me?” I have to admit that I’ve never been asked a question like that before. And, for a little while, I was confused as to how to respond to it. But then it came to me: perhaps the person who emailed me was having trouble sensing the magick in his everyday life and the forces he wanted to work with. This was something that I struggled with back when I first came to Wicca and that has taken practice for me to become good at. Not only that, but for many people coming to Wicca from a paradigm that sees magick as a thing of fantasy, this can be a really difficult barrier to overcome. So let’s talk about it a bit, shall we?

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking about this dilemma is the two different spellings that get used: magic and magick. With just the addition of a simple letter, we can change the meaning of what we would’ve thought of before as just one thing: a force of fantasy capable of creating great change and wonder but that is impossible to achieve in real life.

Now, you guys may or may not have noticed this, but in my essays for the Witches’ Voice, I tend to prefer the spelling with a k, and there is a reason for this. The main reason for this is to maintain a bit of separation between the magick I work with in my life and the magic I’m used to in role-playing games like Dungeons and Dragons and video games. When I first came to Wicca, I didn’t know that there could be one letter that could, for some of us, differentiate between two completely different concepts. And let me tell you, if you think I’m talking crazy again: I’m pretty sure throwing fireballs and a simple prosperity spell don’t fall under the same paradigm. That’s just my take on it. But I hope the explanation helps a little.

The next problem we come to in dealing with this barrier has to do with where we come from in terms of religion. I think I speak for a lot of us who came from either a Judeo-Christian background or from another religion that doesn’t see magick the same way that much of the Neopagan or at least the Wiccan community does. I know that for me, when I grew up, I didn’t think of magick in the same way. When I was younger, Harry Potter and The Wizard of Oz provided my definitions of Witchcraft and magic. To my young mind, the only kind of magic I knew existed in fiction and wasn’t possible in real life.

Not only that, but growing up originally in the Christian faith, magic and religion didn’t mix. And I’m sure that, in some areas where you might live (and this is based only on my experience) , magick and Witchcraft are seen in a very different light. I’ve heard about so much about a number of Fundamentalists and some other sects of Christianity who denounce Wiccans and others as being in league with the devil or some such nonsense. Most if not all of us have at least heard of the Salem Witch Trials and other occurrences from what has been called the Burning Times. Now, even though I’ve left my Christian roots somewhat behind, I have a great respect for Christianity and many of its adherents. I have no problem with Christianity as a whole. It’s just some people who become very extreme and hateful about what I choose to believe and practice. I know it’s not always Christians who say these things, but it’s mainly what comes to mind. And I’m sure it’s what comes to mind for some of you, who came to Wicca or another Pagan path from a similar background to mine. And coming from a background and religious paradigm that sees magic as non-existent or confined to fiction (and those who claim to work as, at best, perhaps slightly delusional and, at worst, evil people) , accepting magick into the way one perceives reality can be rather challenging. Believe me when I say that I’ve been there and done that.
(I really hope I’m not confusing any newcomers with the whole magic/magick thing at this point…)

What’s important to keep in mind is that magick doesn’t work the same as how we’ve seen it in books, movies, video games, etc. Magick in reality is much more subtle; you don’t see people throwing fireballs at each other or calling down lightning from the sky because things don’t work that way. In fact, I like to think of how magick works in our world (as opposed to Harry Potter, great though the series is) as something akin to the wonders of a cup of tea. Why a cup of tea, you ask? Well, it may not seem like it’s doing much, but there is a certain calming power about it when you feel distressed (or, in the case of raspberry leaf tea, really helps out with bad and painful—uh, that might be TMI) . That, and it reminds me of something my dad said when I came out of the broom closet to him. While it was obvious (as many of you know from reading my essays) that my dad would see magick as being impossible, he is more than willing to admit the wonders of cup of tea has when I’m having a nuclear meltdown. I must admit that a part of me giggled inside, thinking, “Uh, Dad? That can be magick too.”

It’s often in the little things that we wouldn’t think of as magick or wouldn’t tend to notice. I often find that the magick I sense in the world always gives me a little tingle of excitement or is tied to an emotion. It could be the calming feeling that comes when watching the waves as they drift in and out with the tide. It could be the smell of a rose or any flower. It could be the sun shining down on you on a nice day (or in the midst of a ton of snow) . It could be that feeling you have when you’re with the one you love, that tender moment when you kiss. For me, this magick I sense often comes when I’m swimming, usually in a lake or in the ocean (chlorinated pool water doesn’t cut it for this type of experience, too many chemicals) . For some reason, whenever I get farther out into the water or even when I’m in open water with only a boat nearby, I feel this surge of energy and giddiness. One thing to try is to really pay attention to those feelings and sensations. At least from my experience, they can definitely be magickal.

The last barrier I wan to talk about in talking about magick in one’s life is visualization. Some of us come to Wicca or another Pagan path with a lack of practice in visualization. Now, I talked about this in my “The Importance of Basic Techniques” essay way back when, but visualization is an essential to magickal workings as well as other aspects of a Pagan faith. For many who come to Wicca or another path from a background that doesn’t see magick as part of reality, sometimes a lack of visualization skills can impact their first attempts to work with magick. Believe me, that was I a few years ago when I was first starting out. However, with some practice, I’ve found that this is the easiest barrier to overcome, especially once the importance of this technique has been explained properly. I’ve received an email in response to that essay that thanked me for clearing up why it was so important, as the sender had merely been told to practice these techniques without any explanation as to why it mattered (I really do enjoy some of the responses I get) .

So, thinking back to “The Importance of Basic Techniques” and my evening with Max, I want you to try this exercise, if you care to oblige me (you don’t have to) . Go ahead and hold your hands a little ways apart from each other and try to feel a ball of energy between them. Nothing yet? Now try it again but try to clearly picture the ball in your mind. It doesn’t matter is how big the ball is, but I want you to actively visualize it. Picture a ball forming between your hands. It can be any color you like and can take on any aspect. Are you seeing a difference? Even if you don’t see anything (which may not happen; it didn’t for me before) , you can probably feel something keeping your hands from coming together. Visualization definitely makes a difference in that exercise.

I’m going to leave you with a few resources that really address some of the questions about magick and visualization for those who are still having trouble. The first one is, of course, the “Wicca First Degree” videos from user MagickTV on YouTube. I mentioned them back when I talked about basic techniques, but I want to give it another mention and a recommendation to check out the rest of the series as well. In particular, the exercises they give in addition to the main lessons are extremely helpful when working on visualization. Along with that, I’ve got a bit of reading material for you as well. The two main books I want to recommend are “The Inner Temple of Witchcraft” by Christopher Penczack and “Natural Witchery: Intuitive, Personal and Practical Magick” by Ellen Dugan. These two books place a lot of emphasis on visualization and psychic/magickal development for the beginner, and they’ve been a big help to me.

So, in conclusion, is it hard to sense magick in our everyday lives? For some of us, it can be, especially when we take our first few tentative steps down our chosen paths. Is it there, part of the reality around us? Of course it is, even if we don’t always notice it. And, to answer the question posed to me by a curious reader, can you work magick with all this reality around us? Yes, you can. It may be difficult at times, and you may find that some techniques may not work as well for you. But so long as you keep an open mind and an open heart, and as long as the work is meaningful to you, I personally see no reason why you can’t.

Magick is everywhere around us, part of the reality we live. And, for my part at least, it’s one of the things that makes life and spirituality truly special for any young Pagan, Wiccan or Witch.

__________________________________________
Footnotes:
“You Don’t Always Need Magick” by Luna
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usmn and c=words and id=15186

“The Importance of Basic Techniques” by Luna
http://www.witchvox.com/va/dt_va.html?a=usmn and c=words and id=15057

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Basic Principles and Concepts of Wicca

Basic Principles and Concepts of Wicca

Introduction:

There’s an old saying that if you ask any ten Wiccans about their religion, you’ll get at least fifteen different answers. That’s not far from the truth, because with hundreds of thousands of Americans practicing Wicca today (and the actual numbers are unclear), there are thousands of different Wiccan groups out there. There is no one governing body over Wicca, nor is there a “Bible” that lays down a universal set of guidelines. While specifics vary from one tradition to the next, there are actually a few ideals and beliefs common to nearly all modern Wiccan groups.

Do keep in mind that this article is primarily focused on Wiccan traditions, rather than on the principles of non-Wiccan Pagan belief systems. Not all Pagans are Wiccans, and not all Pagan traditions have the same set of principles as the core beliefs of modern Wicca.

Origins of Wicca:

Wicca as a religion was introduced by Gerald Gardner in the 1950s. Gardner’s tradition was oathbound, initiatory, and secret. However, after a few years splinter groups began forming, and new traditions were formed. Today, many Wiccan groups owe their basic foundation to the principles laid out by Gardner. Wicca is not an ancient religion, but Gardner did incorporate some old esoteric knowledge into his original tradition, including Eastern mysticism, Kabballah, and British legend.

Who Is a Wiccan, and How Do You Find Them?:

Wiccans come from all walks of life. They are doctors and nurses, teachers and soccer moms, writers and firefighters, waitresses and computer programmers. In other words, anyone can be Wiccan, and people become Wiccan for many reasons. In fact, a recent study estimated nearly half a million Wiccans in the United States today – and frankly, that number seems inaccurately low. As to where to find them, that might take a bit of digging — as a mystery religion that doesn’t proselytize or actively recruit, it can sometimes be difficult to find a group in your area. Never fear, though — the Wiccans are out there, and if you ask around enough, you’ll bump into one eventually.

Calling Upon the Divine:

Wicca acknowledges the polarity of the Divine, which means that both the male and female deities are often honored. A Wiccan may honor simply a non-specific god and goddess, or they may choose to worship specific deities of their tradition, whether it be Isis and Osiris, Cerridwen and Herne, or Apollo and Athena. In Gardnerian Wicca, the true names of the gods are revealed only to initiated members, and are kept secret from anyone outside the tradition.

Initiation and Degree Systems:

In most Wiccan covens, there is some form of initiation and a degree system. Initiation is a symbolic rebirth, in which the initiant dedicates themselves to the gods of their tradition. Typically, only an individual who has attained the rank of Third Degree dedicant may act as a High Priest or High Priestess. Study is required before an individual may advance to the next degree level, and often this is the traditional “year and a day” period.

Someone who is not a member of a coven or formal group may choose to perform a self-dedication ritual to pledge themselves to the gods of their path.

Magic Happens:

The belief in and use of magic and spellwork is nearly universal within Wicca. This is because for most Wiccans, there’s nothing supernatural about magic at all — it’s the harnessing and redirection of natural energy to effect change in the world around us. In Wicca, magic is simply another skill set or tool. Most Wiccans do use specific tools in spellcrafting, such as an athame, wand, herbs, crystals, and candles. Magical workings are often performed within a sacred circle. The use of magic is not limited only to the priesthood — anyone can craft and perform a spell with a little bit of practice.

The Spirit World is Out There:

Because the concept of an afterlife of some sort is typical in most branches of Wicca, there is a general willingness to accept interaction with the spirit world. Seances and contact with the unknown are not uncommon among Wiccans, although not all Wiccans actively seek communication with the dead. Divination such as tarot, runes, and astrology are often used as well.

What Wicca Isn’t:

Wicca does not embrace the concepts of sin, heaven or hell, the evils of sex or nudity, confession, Satanism, animal sacrifice, or the inferiority of women. Wicca is not a fashion statement, and you do not have to dress a certain way to be a “real Wiccan.”

Basic Beliefs of Wicca:

While not exclusive to every single tradition, the following are some of the core tenets found in most Wiccan systems:

  • The Divine is present in nature, and so nature should be honored and respected. Everything from animals and plants to trees and rocks are elements of the sacred. You’ll find that many practicing Wiccans are passionate about the environment.
  • The idea of karma and an afterlife is a valid one. What we do in this lifetime will be revisited upon us in the next. Part of this idea of a cosmic payback system is echoed in the Law of Threefold Return.
  • Our ancestors should be spoken of with honor. Because it’s not considered out of the ordinary to commune with the spirit world, many Wiccans feel that their ancestors are watching over them at all times.
  • The Divine has polarity — both male and female. In most paths of Wicca, both a god and goddess are honored.
  • The Divine is present in all of us. We are all sacred beings, and interaction with the gods is not limited just to the priesthood or a select group of individuals.
  • Holidays are based on the turning of the earth and the cycle of the seasons. In Wicca, eight major Sabbats are celebrated, as well as monthly Esbats.
  • Everyone is responsible for their own actions. Personal responsiblity is the key. Whether magical or mundane, one must be willing to accept the consquences — either good or bad — of their behaviour.
  • Harm none, or something like it. While there are a few different interpretation of what actually constitutes harm, most Wiccans follow the concept that no harm should intentionally be done to another individual.
  • Respect the beliefs of others. There’s no Recruiting Club in Wicca, and the Wiccans are not out to preach at you, convert you, or prosetylize. Wiccan groups recognize that each individual must find their spiritual path on their own, without coercion. While a Wiccan may honor different gods than you do, they will always respect your right to believe differently.

 

 

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Traditional vs. Eclectic: We’re Not “All One Wicca”

Traditional vs. Eclectic: We’re Not “All One Wicca”

Author: Hexeengel

[Please note: For the purposes of this piece, the terms “Wicca” and “Wiccan (s) ” will refer to the British Traditional family of religious Witchcraft Traditions and those who follow them, the Traditions then including, but not limited to, such lines as Gardnerian, Alexandrian, Moshian, Blue Star, etc. “Neo-Wicca” and “Neo-Wiccan (s), ” then, indicate the perhaps more wide-spread and certainly more widely known Eclectic (and often Solitary) practices espoused by such authors as Scott Cunningham, Fiona Horne, Silver Ravenwolf, and others, the majority of them published by Llewellyn Books. I also use the term “Witch” interchangeably with “Wiccan, ” since nearly all Wiccans contend that they are indeed Witches.]

Anyone who’s been a part of the Wiccan or Neo-Wiccan communities for more than a week is undoubtedly aware of the schism between these two groups. The cause of much frustration for Wiccans is that some Neo-Wiccans misunderstand the distinction made between the practices. Wiccans contend that, while there is nothing wrong or bad or invalid or worthless about the practices of Neo-Wiccans, it is nonetheless a separate and distinct practice (or practices, as Neo-Wicca is Eclectic, after all) from Wicca; neither is better (except in a personal preference, subjective sense), but they are certainly different.

Many Neo-Wiccans, on the other hand, dislike that this distinction is made at all. Some are even offended by the use of “Neo-Wicca” or any classification other than “Wicca, ” but are yet very adamant that “we don’t do that, ” meaning that they find some aspects of Wicca ridiculous, unnecessary, or even offensive. It leads one to ask, if it’s all the same thing, then why isn’t it all… well, the same?

This piece is meant to serve as an outline of how much these two groupings of paths really do differ, and to explain some of the more controversial aspects of Wicca that draw much negative attention and criticism from some Neo-Wiccans. The biggest dividing factor, that then encompasses others, is the Wiccan practice of oathbound secrecy.

Many Wiccan Traditions are esoteric, oathbound practices. This means that there are certain things that are not to be revealed to non-initiates, and that initiates swear an oath to protect those aspects (an oath that they are then expected to keep for the rest of their lives, even if they choose to leave the Tradition at a later time). This is not meant to be used as an ego-trip or a form of elitism, but is instead in place to protect the experience of the Tradition and its rites and Mysteries. However, Wiccans do not contend that their path is the only way one may reach and experience the Mysteries, just that this is the way that suits them. What is usually kept secret, then, are the names of the Gods, the specifics of ritual, the identities (Magickal and mundane) of those who participate in the rituals, the tools used in ritual, and any other non-ritual contents of the Tradition’s Book of Shadows.

God-names are kept secret because They (the God and Goddess honored) are considered “tribal, ” wholly unique to the Tradition. In non-initiate training rituals, a Priest and Priestess may choose to utilize place-holder names of similar Deities, ones with compatible traits, qualities, and associations. However, some may choose to simply use the non-specific terms “God and Goddess” or “Lord and Lady” instead of proper names. That decision is left up to the Priest and Priestess of the ritual/group. If place-holder names are used, they are then a tool to help teach those in training about the God and Goddess they will meet and commune with during and after initiation, so that there will be some degree of familiarity once the initiate comes to face the Gods of their chosen Tradition.

The specifics of ritual, as was aforementioned, are not told to non-initiates to protect the experience. Think of it this way; you and a friend both want to see a newly premiered movie, and your friend gets the opportunity to attend a showing before you do. How impolite and improper would it be for your friend to not only tell you every single detail of the film (including the ending), but also the emotions it will evoke from you, and the impact it would have on your life in general? I’m betting anyone would be pretty darn upset.

This is the same reasoning behind Wiccan rituals being kept secret, so that each initiate who experiences them does so as “untainted” as possible. This explains secrecy in regards to those seeking initiation, but for those who do not, a similar analogy is appropriate; if you see a movie but your friend has absolutely no interest in it, regardless of your opinion of said movie, they probably won’t want to hear about it at all. The logic then is that, since those not seeking initiation are assumed to be uninterested in the Tradition all together, what reason do they have to concern themselves with its practices?

Additionally, this secrecy maintains the authenticity of the rituals, and also the integrity of the initiating line back to the Tradition’s founder. Thus, the rituals cannot be altered or misused, and only those experienced in the Tradition’s Mysteries can go on to teach them to others.

As far as participants’ identities go, that’s fairly self-explanatory on one level; “outing” someone as a Witch is not something taken lightly, regardless of where one counts one’s self on the spectrum Wicca has become. But there is another level to it, in that Wiccans tend keep their lineage oathbound as well. One’s lineage is the line of initiating High Priestesses that leads from one initiate back to the founder of the Tradition, be they Gerald Gardner, Alex Sanders, etc.

And lastly, the tools used and the other, non-ritual contents of the Book of Shadows (BoS) are oathbound because they are related to the specifics of Wiccan practice and experience, and so revealing them can take away from those elements, just as describing pivotal scenes from a movie can taint the enjoyment of the whole thing.

These levels of secrecy and occultism (where “occult” takes on its more accurate meaning of “hidden or secret; to be known only by the initiated”) are a stumbling block to some Neo-Wiccans; they cannot fathom the reasons other than to make Wiccans feel special or better somehow, but as illustrated above, there are very real and important reasons.

Some folks though cannot find it in themselves to abide by these guidelines, but still feel the desire to walk a similar path. Partly because of this, Neo-Wicca and its policy of openness and universality were born. Neo-Wiccans are free to follow any and all God forms that may call or appeal to them, regardless of cultural or religious origin. Neo-Wiccans are also more prone to share their ritual scripts and spells with others. Some even post the entirety of their BoSs online or otherwise make it available for public consumption, such as through published books, which then are a large part of Neo-Wiccan learning materials.

Conversely, learning Wicca involves a specified path that utilizes the repetition of form to facilitate function; the actual movements and words are the same at each ritual, however it is the experience that differs and is truly the most important. This is an orthopraxic approach, that of correct practices leading to Divine experience, rather than orthodoxic, that of correct belief.

While many of us have come to associate “orthodox” with meaning oppressive or outdated and referring specifically to Christianity as often as not, if one simply takes the word at its face value, then Neo-Wicca is in fact an orthodox practice; as long as one believes the “right” things, then one is Neo-Wiccan and then can practice it in whatever fashion one desires.

But what are the “right” beliefs? Is it the duality and balance of God and Goddess? Not according to those called Dianic Wiccans, who hold the Goddess superior to the God, if He is even recognized at all. Additionally, as stated before, Wiccan God names are specific to each Tradition and oathbound, so by default Neo-Wiccans do not and cannot honor the God and Goddess by those same identities, so neither does “right belief“ include the specific Deity forms.

Is it then following the Wiccan Rede? That’s not it either, since there are practitioners out there who discard the Rede all together and still lay claim to the “Wiccan title” (and yes, I’m aware that “rede” means “counsel or advice” and not “commandment, ” but I’ve yet to encounter a Wiccan who thinks its irrelevant).

What about celebrating the Sabbats? Well, okay, almost anyone along the Wicca/Neo-Wicca spectrum can agree that these eight points of the year are important, but what’s not agreed on is how one celebrates them, or even what they’re called (as far as I can tell, only Samhain, Yule, and Beltane are universally used names, the rest can vary). In some cases, the dates are even in dispute, since there are those who figure the Greater Sabbats relative to the Lesser Sabbats each year, marking them as the precise midpoints between the astronomical Solstices and Equinoxes rather than the “fixed” dates of the common calendar.

This final point segues nicely into another striking difference, that of ritual form and elements. Not all Neo-Wiccans cast a Circle in the same way nor include all the same components as others (in some cases, even the rituals for the same event differ each time they are performed) , and being that Wiccan ritual structure is oathbound, one can infer that Neo-Wiccan rituals bear little, if any, resemblance to their Traditional counterparts. If Wicca and Neo-Wicca was indeed the same thing, wouldn’t we all use the same rituals, honoring the same God forms in the same ways?

Wiccans also contend that only a Wiccan can make another Wiccan, that one cannot enter Wicca without someone to teach and guide them. A popular Neo-Wiccan counter to this comes from Scott Cunningham, and is something along the lines of, “but who made the first Wiccan? The God and Goddess. So who are we to be so bold and presumptuous as to usurp and appropriate Their power? Who has the real power to make a Wiccan?”

I can agree to a certain extent; the Wiccan Gods are responsible, to a degree, for Wicca’s existence, in that They provided the original inspiration, need, and desire for a way to honor Them. However, I also believe They intended for things to be done in just that way, else why would They have put the idea in a human mind? Why the need for rituals at all, if any way one honors them is acceptable?

Let me clarify – when I say “the Wiccan Gods, ” I mean those names, faces, forms, aspects, and attributes that are oathbound and specific to the Traditions of Wicca. If Gods other than those have different desires and requirements, then so be it, but then They are not the Gods of Wicca, and therefore need not be honored in the Wiccan way.

The Wiccan way is one practiced by humans to reach out to and commune with the Wiccan Gods, and therefore only one who knows that way can teach that way. A dentist, while a medical professional, cannot teach someone to perform open-heart surgery. So it follows that someone inexperienced in the Wiccan Mysteries, regardless of any other gnosis, knowledge, and experience they may have gained, cannot teach them to anyone.

To add to this, in Wicca the initiating High Priest and High Priestess are seen as representations and “substitutes, ” if you will, of the God and Goddess on this material plane. They are infused with Divine Will and Power at the time of initiation (and in all other rites), so in the realism of non-duality, it IS the God and Goddess who are making new Wiccans, not “merely” other humans. However, the HP and HPS are specifically chosen and trained to perform these duties using the structure and methods of their Tradition.

A Neo-Wiccan, or anyone else who is not HP or HPS even if he/she is a Wiccan initiate, has no such training, and so cannot perform an initiation rite as the representative of the Wiccan Gods.

Clearly there is great disparity between not only practice, but also belief, between those called Wiccans and Neo-Wiccans. All this points to Neo-Wicca being an outgrowth of Wicca, rather than a continuation of it, much like Buddhism was an outgrowth of Hinduism. Buddhism and Hinduism both include the ideas of Karma, Dharma, and Samsara, Yantras, etc., but they differ on the nature and application of these ideas.

Buddhists do not recognize a pantheon of Gods in the way Hindus do, and also do not perform elaborate rituals. The two paths do have commonalities, but are distinct and separate belief systems. It would be improper, inaccurate, and doing a disservice to both paths if one was to say they are the same.

This can also be applied to Wicca and Neo-Wicca; Wicca recognizes a specific set of Gods, while Neo-Wicca does not. Wicca includes much formality and formulary in its rituals, which is not necessarily true of Neo-Wicca. They are related practices, one springing from the other, but they are fundamentally different, and it is improper, inaccurate, and doing a disservice to both to try and say that they are the same.

Of course, it’s all very well and good for these kinds of things to be said by someone who prefers Wicca to Neo-Wicca, someone who is seeking to walk the Gardnerian path. I concede that it would be far more impacting and impressive had this article or one similar been written by a Neo-Wiccan, because there’d be less risk of accusations of elitism, or discrimination, or exclusion. If, however, any Neo-Wiccan found truth in what I’ve presented here, I encourage them to write a similar piece, putting the focus on their practices, revealing the value and beauty that perhaps stems from the differences, rather than in spite of them.

What are the benefits of Solitary work? How is self-study more fulfilling than working under another’s tutelage? How does the tapestry of cultures and customs enrich your practice; is the old adage, “student of many trades, master of none” inaccurate?

I’m not personally looking to be convinced, I’ve found my home and my path, but that kind of piece may go a long way to strengthening other Neo-Wiccans’ sense of identity and purpose. And anyone finding peace and feeling whole on their spiritual journey is a beautiful thing, regardless of what that path may be called.

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Example # 1 of Different Archetypes – Working With Dark Archetypes


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Working With Dark Archetypes

 

One of the wonderful things about Wicca is that it does not assign a positive or negative dichotomy to the light and dark pairing that so many other religions do. Wiccans understand that light and dark are both necessary for the world to operate, and that a balance is constantly in motion. Dark defines light, just as light casts shadow to create dark.

No matter how comfortable Wiccans are with the concept of darkness, when it comes right down to working with dark deities, many shy away. They do not do so necessarily out of fear, but from a sense of respect and self-preservation: working with dark deities is usually a rough ride. This is not to say that working with bright deities is easy; bright deities are just as likely as dark deities to take your life firmly in hand and reshape it to what it should be. It’s simply that bright deities have gained a burnished appeal over time and are usually seen as gentler than the dark deities.

The amount of whitewashing and projected antiseptic illusions that cloak the bright deities often mislead people to think the bright deities are all sweetness and light. Most deities have a blend of dark and bright elements, and over time humanity has chosen to privilege one aspect over the other. Hecate was once a Thracian maiden goddess who cared for women in childbirth, and who carried a torch to guide those who needed direction. As she was absorbed into the Greek and Roman pantheons and their spiritual needs and outlook evolved, she became a crone goddess of terrifying curses and revenge, keeper of the ghosts and spirits of the murdered souls in the underworld. Brigid, pan-Celtic goddess of inspiration, has also been a goddess of defense and warcraft, a metalworker capable of crafting spears and swords for her people.

Dark is not the absence of light; by now you know that light does not equal good and beautiful and right, and dark does not equal evil or immoral, or even amoral. Dark means embracing the shadowed aspects of your personality and soul. This understanding should be incorporated into your practice.

Source

Solitary Wicca For Life: Complete Guide to Mastering the Craft on Your Own
Arin Murphy-Hiscock

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Let’s Talk Witch – Spiritual Archetypes


Autumn Comments & Graphics

Spiritual Archetypes

 

There are several levels of entities encountered in Wicca and Western occult work. The ones most Wiccans think of immediately are, of course, the Goddess and the God, whether known by the general titles of the Lady and the Lord or by specific names. There are more entities, however, and these are various manifestations of archetypal power and essence in diverse forms:

• The elements are invoked in almost every Wiccan ritual, and have associated archetypal spirits.

• Power animals and totems are often used by Wiccans in pathworking exercises.

• Ancestors are honored and invoked as repositories of knowledge and wisdom.

• Some traditions of Wicca and Western occult traditions espouse the concept of the higher self, that part of the astral body/spiritual form that is directly connected to the Divine.

All these and more are worth exploring as you advance in your practice of Wicca, both for the knowledge it can provide and for the depth and range of experience it can add to your practice.

Source:

Solitary Wicca For Life: Complete Guide to Mastering the Craft on Your Own
Arin Murphy-Hiscock

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Wicca, Witchcraft | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

What is Draconic Wicca?

What is Draconic Wicca?

 

Draconic Wicca is the utilization of the powers of the dragons. There are as many dragons as there are people. They are as varied as humans are also. We work with these dragons to achieve the results that we seek. In doing so, we have to deal with the unique personalities of each type of dragon. The dragons have no real hierarchy other than age, except for the case of ‘The Dragon’.

The Dragon is the combined powers of the God and the Goddess. The Dragon is invoked or evoked during Sabbats and in times when great magick is needed (not when you can not find your keys). Invoking means to call into you the power of the dragon that you name i.e. a fire dragon. You ask that this dragon assume himself/herself into your spiritual body. To evoke means to call a dragon to you, to join you in your magickal workings.

The reason it is called Draconin “Wicca” is because of the similarities to the wiccan religion of today. This religion was originally brought to Earth by the blessed races when Atlantis was formed. The name of the religion itself cannot be pronounced in present English certainly not spelled. This religion was taken away from the Atlantians and Atlantis destroyed.The druids were the descendants of the Old Religion and passed on by mouth.

The spirits God: The god is the male half of the ‘divine being’. He has many faces and has known many names. To wiccans, he is known as the horned god, the sun god, and many more. God is not just Father, he is Mate, Consort, Lover, Friend, Brother, Hunter, Husband, Law-giver, and Partner.

Goddess: The goddess is the female half of the ‘divine being’. She also has had many faces and many names. Wiccans, druids, and the coven all respect the Maiden, Mother, and Crone aspect of the goddess show in the entire universe.

Red Dragon: The Red Dragon is effectively the goddess of the dragons and very, very few known her actual name. She represents all of the blessed races and has a counterpart for each. Dragons/Races of the

Elements: Each race has its own head keeper of the elements and/or directions. The elements are: Air, Earth, Fire, Water, Light, Darkness and Spirit These spirits are called in to help with specific elements and what the elements and directions can help with different things. Healing would be Earth for example.

Many names are used to invoke different aspects of the above spirits. The goddess might be invoked as Bast (Egyptian name) for example for healing and another time Athena (Greek) for wisdom. There is a good saying. “There are many faces of the one god.” However this doesn’t apply for the Red Dragon of other guardians of the elements. This mostly applies for the God and Goddess aspects. The sabbats are more like the old druidic sabbats, which any good reference is hard to find, than the ones that are found in Wiccan religions.

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Dragon Magick | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

WOTC Extra – The Self-dedication Ritual


Dragon Comments & Graphics

The Self-dedication Ritual

First, spend a few sunrises or late at night contemplating what you want to gain from Wicca. Write it down in your Mirror Book (This is like a journal that you keep about your thoughts about wicca, divination, or anything else you might want to put in such a journal). Second, think about what you wish to give to Wicca. This could be anything from connecting with other Wiccans on the Web to anything that cares for the Earth. Write this down in your Mirror Book. This done, you are ready to go to the next step of performing the actual ritual.

The Rite

Prepare a ritual bath and add some salt and a few drops of sandalwood or frankincense oil to it. If you have to use a shower, take a washcloth and put salt and oil on it, then rub it all over your body.

When you have finished your bath, dress comfortably to go to a secluded area outside. You can do this anywhere in the outdoor but you need to be in a place where you won’t be disturbed. All you need to take with you is some essential oil like sandalwood, frankincense, cinnamon, or any other you feel would be appropriate.

When you get to the place you have decided upon, take off your shoes and sit quietly on the ground. Sit until you are calm and relaxed feeling the Earth’s energies around you.

Then stand up and look out where you are and let the Deities draw you to the right place for the ritual.

When you have found the right place, sit down and set the oil on the ground beside you. Use deep breathing and relax yourself again, let the energies flow around and through you.

Call upon the Goddess and the God in your own way. Tell them what you desire and that you wish to dedicate yourself to the Wiccan way and to them. Ask them to fill you with their divine energy.  When you do this, you may feel a surge of energy or a peaceful feeling. Whatever happens you will know that the Deities have heard you. You will feel different.

After you have finished talking the the Lord and Lady, take some of the oil and draw the symbols for the Goddess and the God on you somewhere. Visualize the symbols glowing in white light and flowing into your body.

Thank the Deities and sit and quietly meditate on the experience before you leave.

It is done. Go home and celebrate your experience in some way. Share the excitement with any of your wiccan friends. It’s your celebration, so do it in your way.

The Goddess symbol- )O(
The God symbol-
U
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Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Miscellaneous Spells, New Beginnings Spells | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Let’s Talk Witch – Concerning Initiation


Dragon Comments & Graphics

Concerning Initiation

Most shamanic and magical religions utilize some sort of initiation ceremony whereby an outsider becomes a recognized member of the religion, society, group or coven. Such rites also mark the new direction which the initiate’s life is taking.

Much has been made, publicly and privately, of Wiccan initiations. Each Wiccan tradition uses their own initiation ceremonies, which may or may not be recognized by other Wiccans. On one point, however, most initiates agree: a person can be a Wiccan only if she or he has received such an initiation.

This brings up an interesting question: Who initiated the first Wiccan? Most initiation ceremonies are nothing more than rites marking the acceptance of the person into a coven, and her or his dedication to the Goddess and God. Sometimes “power is passed” between the initiator and neophyte as well.

To a non-Wiccan, the initiation might seem to be a rite of conversion. This isn’t the case. Wicca has no need for such rites. We don’t condemn the deities with which we may have attuned before practicing Wicca, nor need we turn our backs on them.

The initiation ceremony (or ceremonies, since in many groups three successive rites are performed) is held to be of utmost importance to those Wiccan groups still practicing ritual secrecy. Surely anyone entering such a group should undergo an initiation, part of which consists of swearing never to reveal their secrets. This makes sense, and is a part of many coven initiations. But it isn’t the essence of initiation.

Many people have told me that they desperately need to undergo Wiccan initiation. They seem to believe that one cannot practice Wicca without this stamp of approval. If you’ve read this far, you know that such isn’t the case.

Wicca has been, up until the past decade or so, a closed religion, but no more. The inner components of Wicca are available to anyone who can read and has the proper wit to understand the material. Wicca’s only secrets are its individual ritual forms, spells, names of deities and so on.

This needn’t bother you. For every secret Wiccan ritual or Goddess name there are dozens (if not hundreds) of others published and readily available. At this moment, more Wiccan information has been released than ever before. While it once may have been a secret religion, today Wicca is a religion with few secrets.

Still, many cling to the idea of the necessity of initiation, probably thinking that with this magical act they’ll be granted the secrets of the
universe and untold power. To make things worse, some particularly narrow-minded Wiccans say that the Goddess and God won’t listen to anyone who isn’t an athame-carrying member of a coven. Many would-be Wiccans believe this.

It doesn’t work this way.

True initiation isn’t a rite performed by one human being upon another. Even if you accept the concept that the initiator is suffused with deity during initiation, it’s still just a ritual.

Initiation is a process, gradual or instantaneous, of the individual’s attunement with the Goddess and God. Many of the Wicca readily admit that the ritual initiation is the outer form only. True initiation will often occur weeks or months later,
or prior to, the physical ritual.

Since this is so, “real” Wiccan initiation may take place years before the student contacts a Wiccan coven or teacher. Is this initiation less effective or less genuine because the person hasn’t gone through a formal ritual at the hands of another human being? Of course not.

Rest assured, it’s quite possible to experience a true Wiccan initiation without ever meeting another soul involved in the religion. You may even be unaware of it. Your life may gradually shift in focus until you realize that you notice the birds and clouds. You may gaze at the Moon on lonely nights and talk to plants and animals. Sunset might bring a time of quiet contemplation.

Or you may change as the seasons change, adapting your body’s energies to match those of the natural world around you. The Goddess and God may sing in your thoughts, and you may perform rituals before actually realizing what you’re doing.

When the Old Ways have become a part of your life and your relationship with the Goddess and God is strong, when you have gathered your tools and performed the rites and magic out of joy, you are truly of the spirit and can rightly call yourself “Wiccan.”

Finally words, Some say, “Only a Wiccan can make a Wiccan.” I say only the Goddess and God can make a Wiccan.

Who’s better qualified?

 

Source:
Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner
Scott Cunningham.

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Wicca, Witchcraft | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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